Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bike Lust. Moots Gristle Zirkel

I could stare at this picture for hours

The best of both worlds comes at you via a Moots dreambike. 29 and 26 wheels on this freak of a bicycle. What do you get when you combine the root smashing, rock stomping, soul finding merits of a 29" front wheel, combined with the awesome snappiness of a 26? That combined with the amazing workmanship from the folks from Steamboat Springs. I did mention this front triangle is made from US made seamless cold-worked stress relieved 3/2.5 titanium tubing. Ladies and Gentlemen. I think my world has just imploded!

The Gristle is Moots answer for making the best of both worlds come together, they introduced this option in 2007 at the height of a 29/26er boom, in what some companies called the bike a 69er, oh how badass and clever they were!

The Zirkel isn't the only bike in the in the Moots line up that gets frankensteined with the Gristle 29" front wheel. The Rigormootis hardtail and the classic YBB have the Gristle option as well. The Zirkel is a viable Mojo replacement for myself (ssshh, don't tell my wife) and the thought of a big wheeled front end helping in the rolling over of practically anything kind of gets my heart beating a little faster, or is it the thought of another Moots in the family?

Whatever the case may be, the Zirkel is a matched arc suspension system (marc) that has no pivot at the rear axle, the rear triangle is made from 6061 aluminum made by Ventana bikes. A better material to use than titanium for rear suspension according to Moots. I'm guessing the titanium rear ends were way too flexy. The bike also comes with replaceable derailleur hangers, a lifetime warranty on craftsmanship and materials and the option to go with a Rohloff rear hub.

So the real question is, do you really want to spend that kind of money for the optional big wheeled front end? The 29" naysayers will tell you it's impractical, the steering is slower, and gasp! You will have to carry spare 26 and 29" tubes! Can you imagine the horror? The 29er evangelists will stop at nothing to tell you how awesome those big wheels are and why you should just say to hell with it and get a full 29" wheeled bike, so that you and them can ride away together into a perfect big wheeled fat tire bliss. I say fly to Steamboat springs and demo a Gristle Zirkel and a 26" wheeled Zirkel, and why the hell not. A full 29" XZ. That would be the perfect weekend to make a decision. Don't you think?